For any who read my posts from the last few days, my physical practice has been on a steady decline. I had high expectations for myself, even while I am not feeling completely up to it. For several days I was going to do deep breathing exercises with longer-lasting asanas. But after doing it for one day, I knew it was not the right thing for me. Thankfully, this February yoga challenge is about understanding my limitations. For the next few days I want to focus on different aspects of my practice.
I’ve often wondered what it means to rest mindfully. People are so busy nowadays I wonder if they have forgotten how. For me, it is a matter of mindfully setting aside busy things I can do that I think I should do and being still.
I don’t need to go onto the mat today if I am not physically up to it.
I am not obligated to do extensive research if I am mentally tired.
I don’t have to walk three miles if it is 10 degrees outside and snowing to feel accomplished.
If I take the time to rest, it doesn’t mean I failed to meet my goals. It just means I’m listening to my body and adjusting what I do according to its needs.
My affirmation today is I will mindfully rest without judging or criticizing my choices.
Since today is Sunday, I felt it was very fitting to take a day of rest. I remember one class period during my senior thesis that changed my life. My teacher started the class with a question. “If there were eight days in the week instead of seven, what would you do on the eighth day?” All of my classmates named things like homework, shopping, cleaning, and other busy activities. I felt a growing sense of dread the closer it came to my turn. I was the only one in the class that had a different answer.
When my teacher turned to me I answered, “Nothing. If I had an extra day I wouldn’t force myself to continue activities I know will cause me stress. I would go on a walk without any particular place I need to go. I would watch a movie without taking extensive notes and researching. I would stay off my phone, sit outside, and take time to think.”
I went on and said I already took Sunday off from school studies and work because after six years of college I realized I needed time for myself to breathe. When I took that time for myself it made a tremendous difference in my school and work life.
So today, I didn’t do yoga or write. I let myself rest and I feel great! For now, I will just leave any who read this post with a happy adieu!